The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand

The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk: Practicing Buddhism in Modern Thailand

by Justin McDaniel

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231527545
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
File size: 21 MB
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Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Justin Thomas McDaniel is associate professor of Buddhist and Southeast Asian studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He has also taught at Ohio University and the University of California at Riverside. Chair of the Southeast Asian Studies Council and the Thailand, Laos, Cambodia Studies Association, and founder of the Thai Digital Monastery Project, McDaniel has lived and researched in Southeast Asia for many years as a Social Science Research Council and Fulbright Fellow, manuscript cataloger, translator, volunteer teacher, and Buddhist monk. His first book, Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words: Histories of Monastic Education in Laos and Thailand won the prestigious Harry Benda Prize for Best First Book in Southeast Asian Studies.
Justin McDaniel (PhD, Sanskrit and Indian Studies, Harvard) is Professor and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Gathering Leaves and Lifting Words (Washington, 2008) which won the Association for Asian Studies Harry Benda Prize, and The Lovelorn Ghost and the Magical Monk (Columbia, 2011), which won the Association for Asian Studies George McT. Kahin Prize.

Table of Contents

Note on Transcription
1. Monks and Kings
2. Texts and Magic
3. Rituals and Liturgies
4. Art and Objects

What People are Saying About This

Anne Blackburn

Justin Thomas McDaniel celebrates the complexity and situation-specific vitality of Buddhists and their 'repertoires' in his engaging work on contemporary, especially urban, Thailand. His book is a valuable resource for undergraduate and graduate teaching, and it is exemplary in its use of Thai, French, and English writings on Thailand and Buddhism.

Anne Hansen

A brilliant and innovative book that not only carves out some important new directions in the study of Theravada Buddhism but also sets a new bar. If my students had time to read only one book on Southeast Asian Buddhism, this is the book I would choose.

Craig J. Reynolds

In this sweeping study full of fresh observations and original thinking, McDaniel continues his radical reinterpretation of Thai religious practice. Challenged to understand rituals, sacred objects, saints, deities, and spirits of bewildering diversity, he sees in a lovelorn ghost and magical monk a way to make sense of what seems senseless. He thereby dispels the familiar categories of Buddhism, Brahmanism, and animism. Does anyone understand Thai religion in all its complexity better than McDaniel?

Steve Collins

This magnificent, beguiling, and thought-provoking study describes and celebrates the heterogeneity and, as McDaniel puts it, the cacophony of Thai Buddhist experience as expressing the values of security, heritage, graciousness, and abundance. It should be read by every scholar of Buddhist studies and of religious studies more widely. An epoch-making achievement.

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